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Joe Panik delivers three hits in wild-card win
by R.J. White |

Giants second baseman Joe Panik enjoyed a fantastic postseason debut Wednesday, going 3 for 5 in his team's 8-0 wild-card win over the Pirates.

Panik plugged a hole in the infield in the middle of the season, hitting .305/.343/.368 in 269 at-bats during the regular season. He figures to continue to occupy the second spot of the lineup in the National League Division Series, starting with Game 1 Friday in Washington.

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Brandon Belt drives in three runs in wild-card win
by R.J. White |

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt went 2 for 3 with two walks and three RBI in his team's 8-0 wild-card victory over the Pirates Wednesday.

Belt was on base when Brandon Crawford opened up the scoring with a fourth-inning grand slam, and the first baseman tacked on a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh on a pair of singles. Belt and the Giants face the Nationals in Washington Friday in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

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Josh Harrison the only bright spot Wednesday
by Chris Cwik |

Pirates infielder Josh Harrison was the lone bright spot Wednesday night.

Harrison was the only player on the club to collect two hits during the outing. In his final two at-bats, Harrison hit two singles. The Pirates managed just four hits off Madison Bumgarner during the contest. Half of those came from Harrison's bat. Harrison enjoyed a breakout during the regular season, hitting .315/.347/.490 over 520 at-bats. 

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Brandon Crawford becomes first SS with postseason grand slam
by R.J. White |

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford went 1 for 5 with a grand slam in his team's 8-0 wild-card win over the Pirates Wednesday.

After the Giants loaded the bases in the fourth inning with two singles and a walk, Crawford deposited a ball over the right-field fence to break a scoreless tie. He became the first shortstop in postseason history to swat a grand slam. Grand slams are nothing new to Crawford, as he's collected three while hitting 27 career home runs (postseason included). The blast was all starter Madison Bumgarner would need, as he coasted to a complete-game shutout. The Giants open the National League Division Series Friday in Washington against the Nationals.

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Madison Bumgarner goes distance in wild-card win
by R.J. White |

Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner dominated wire to wire in Wednesday's wild-card win, giving up just four hits and one walk in nine shutout innings and striking out 10 in his team's 8-0 victory over the Pirates.

Bumgarner (1-0) delivered in the winner-take-all contest, tossing 79 of his 109 pitches for strikes and keeping the Pirates at bay while the offense came through with a big performance, including a fourth-inning grand slam that broke a scoreless tie. Bumgarner has a date with the Nationals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series Monday when the series heads to San Francisco. Including Wednesday's wild-card game, the Giants have won all seven postseason series in which Bumgarner has pitched.

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Edinson Volquez surrenders five runs in wild-card loss
by R.J. White |

Pirates pitcher Edinson Volquez took a loss in Wednesday's wild-card game, giving up five earned runs on five hits and three walks in five-plus innings while striking out three in his team's 8-0 defeat against the Giants.

Volquez (0-1) did a fine job through three innings but ran into trouble quickly in the fourth, giving up back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases for Brandon Crawford, who smashed a grand slam over the right field wall to put the Giants ahead for good. Volquez was pulled after issuing a walk to start the sixth inning, with the runner coming around to score after the starter had departed. It's a disappointing performance after Volquez posted a 1.08 ERA in five September starts. He hadn't taken a loss since July 21.

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Blue Jays outright Munenori Kawasaki, Dan Johnson
by R.J. White |

The Blue Jays have outrighted infielder Munenori Kawasaki and first baseman Dan Johnson.

Kawasaki hit .258/.327/.296 with 17 RBI and one stolen base in 240 at-bats. He made 64 appearances at second base and 19 at third base while also playing shortstop four times. Johnson recorded just 38 at-bats with the Blue Jays, hitting .211/.333/.342 with one home run and seven RBI.

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Stephen Vogt expected to undergo foot surgery
by R.J. White |

Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt is expected to undergo surgery to repair a plantar plate tear in his injured foot, though he will seek a second opinion before having the procedure, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Vogt, who went 0 for 3 in Tuesday's wild-card loss to the Royals, struggled in the second half of September after missing 11 games earlier in the month. He still finished the season with a .279/.321/.431 line along with nine home runs and 35 RBI in 269 at-bats.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu throws problem-free simulated game
by R.J. White |

Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu threw 45 pitches in a simulated game Wednesday and reported no problems "before, during or after" with his injured shoulder, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ryu will have the shoulder examined Thursday, and if no problems are found, he could be an option for Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Cardinals Monday. Out since Sept. 12, he posted a 3.38 ERA and 139:29 K:BB ratio in 152 innings.

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Chris Owings to undergo shoulder surgery Thursday
by R.J. White |

Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings will undergo surgery on his left shoulder Thursday, the team announced.

Owings missed the last few games of the season with the shoulder issue, finishing the year with a .261/.300/.406 line along with six home runs, 26 RBI and eight stolen bases in 310 at-bats. He is expected to be ready for the beginning of spring training.

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